Art Entrepreneurship

Art Entrepreneurship

Edited by Mikael Scherdin and Ivo Zander

This pioneering book explores creative and entrepreneurial processes as they are played out in the field of art. Nine original chapters by an international group of scholars take a detailed look at the sources of new art ideas, how they are transformed into tangible objects of art, make their way through often hostile selection environments, and ultimately go on to become valued and accepted by the general public. Making a number of original contributions at the crossroads of art and entrepreneurship, the book speaks to researchers across these fields, practicing artists interested in promoting and gaining acceptance for their work, as well as policymakers concerned with sustained dynamics of the art arena.

Chapter 1: Art Entrepreneurship: An Introduction

Mikael Scherdin and Ivo Zander

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, development studies, social entrepreneurship, politics and public policy, social entrepreneurship


Mikael Scherdin and Ivo Zander In many ways, the creation of art captures the essence of entrepreneurial activity. It is a genuinely creative process that finds its origin in the artist’s perception of highly subjective ideas, whose viability and ultimate impact on the art arena are surrounded by genuine uncertainty. The process of developing subjective ideas into tangible objects of art and convincing often incredulous observers about their aesthetic or other qualities is often arduous. From the artist’s perspective, it can be a process characterized by doubts, frustrations, and setbacks, requiring unusual persistence for arriving at the final product. It involves intellectual and practical development of the art idea, sometimes requiring the solving of hitherto unknown technical problems, as well as interaction with external observers to “sell” the novel idea and make it accessible to the intended audience. Ultimately, a few artistic ideas have the potential to radically alter perceptions about art and what are considered established, legitimate, and taken-for-granted artistic expressions. Despite the obvious similarities between artistic work and entrepreneurial processes as they unfold in the business context, the two fields have remained separate in terms of both academic research and practice. The arts literature has mainly been concerned with art-related phenomena and occasionally dealt with the assumedly particular nature and dynamics of the art industry (for example Ormrod, 1999; Caves, 2000). Only rarely has there been interest in the entrepreneurial aspects of artistic work, perhaps because many artists remain fundamentally suspicious of anything that has to do with...